China's 'floating population' exceeds 221 mln

08:23, March 01, 2011      

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China's floating population, which mostly consists of migrant workers, reached 221 million last year, Li Bin, head of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, said on Monday.

The number of rural migrant workers stood at 160 million, Li told a conference on the management of the floating population held in Guangzhou, the capital of south China's Guangdong Province.

Another 300 million people coming from rural areas are expected to move to work and live in cities and towns in the next three decades, Li said. Among the total floating population, 42.8 percent were born after 1980, Li added.

In China, "the floating population" refers to people who live in an area different from the place of their household registration, or "hukou" system.

More people are flocking to inland cities, a sign of industrial transfer and economic pattern restructuring, the official said, citing monitoring results.

Compared to older generation migrants who mostly left their families behind in the countryside, nearly 60 percent are now moving with their children and living longer in one city, he said.

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